Jordan says some 16,000 Syrian refugees are stranded on its border, up from 12,000 a week ago.

Government spokesman Mohammed Momani says the refugees at the remote desert camp are being "carefully monitored" by authorities and have received tents, heaters, food and medicine from U.N. and other aid organizations. He says there are clinics in the camp supported by international agencies and the Jordanian military.

Many of the refugees have spent weeks or months in what aid agencies say are deteriorating humanitarian conditions. In December, the U.N. refugee agency urged Jordan to allow the refugees to enter.

Momani says about 50 to 100 are permitted entry each day, with priority given to women, children, the elderly and sick people, but that "security is the first priority."